How did a mortgage executive's daughter convince him that apps were the way to go?
This article was produced in partnership with Tavant.
Desmond Devoy, of Mortgage Professional America, sat down with Sandeep Shivam and Puneet Jain, associate directors of product management, to talk about how Tavant’s new mobile app, which is part of its Touchless Lending® Experiences platform, includes everyone in on the call, so to speak, in the mortgage process.
If it isn’t digital, and a mortgage customer can’t access it on an app on their phone, then a mortgage company isn’t with it.
“In today’s world, we have more consumers who are going down the digital route,” said Sandeep Shivam (pictured left), associate director of product management at Tavant. “They want to do things on the go, having everything at their fingertips, on mobile.”
But for Shivam, parts of the mortgage industry might still need to be ready for that.
“We are going there but haven’t completely yet,” said Shivam. “In the coming years, lenders need to go in the direction where they can provide everything to a borrower at their fingertips, making accessible to them all of the stuff that a lender needs to provide on their phone through responsive web or a mobile app. The app is what is preferred.”
He has spoken with a senior executive in a lending organization who said that his daughter, a millennial, had told him that his company just needed a mobile app to survive.
Puneet Jain (pictured right), also an associate director of product management at Tavant, agreed that the mortgage industry can be a slow adopter of technology.
“Compare it with any industry,” said Jain. “Think of the amount of time it takes you to get a car loan versus the amount of time it takes for you to get a mortgage. It is vastly different. How can we reduce the gap between these two kinds of loans?”
Tavant’s new, all-inclusive platform
That’s where Tavant’s new Touchless Lending® Experiences platform comes in.
“It renders itself in for multiple experiences, multiple personas,” said Jain. “It has a persona for a consumer direct channel where a customer like yourself or myself could go directly and apply for a mortgage. It can be utilized by the loan officers of a particular lending institution where their internal users, like loan officers, can actually utilize it for working with the borrower. Then a plan can be originated through that. It also has a wholesale aspect to it wherein the brokers and the correspondence both get delegated and non-delegated.”
Realtors are also literally and figuratively included in the conversation, said Shivam.
“We are looking to create an environment where the customer, loan officer and realtor are all interacting together,” he said. “All these [relationships and interactions] we expect to be handled with this single application or single mobile app. The full cycle, from the consumer point of view, is covered through the touchless experience.”
Even if a customer is only browsing with an eye toward action six months down the road, Shivam notes that the platform allows the “lender to catch up to those prospects.”
This platform was developed in-house and is a proprietary product.
“It’s a journey,” said Shivam. “We have developed it over five years. Initially, we developed it for a few clients. And then it took us a couple of years for it to mature.”
The goal is to “continuously innovate, improvise and enhance” the platform. “We get regular upgrades for our product.”
The platform can also be configured to suit the needs of clients best.
“We can simply change the configuration, and we can be with that lender in the market in no time,” said Shivam. “This is one of the unique propositions that we have against our competitors. Competitors tend to go on the path that one size fits all. We believe there will be lenders who are looking to provide a unique offering to their customers. And we support that.”
Constantly evolving technological journey
Lenders can make changes to their workflows as needed with Tavant’s technology.
“We always want to start off with what is the need of the industry, whether it is from a consumer standpoint or it is from a lender standpoint,” said Jain. “It is about personalization, consumer experience, measuring the value of your investment, prioritizing your investments, and empowering your workforce. These are the four key themes on which we center all of our internal thought processes in developing new features.”
Jain expanded on the theme of personalization, saying that it is “essentially, the collection of all the data for the users. And then you try to create an optimal experience for the user.” With all of that data, they can also measure how the user is interacting with their systems “in terms of their clicking on a particular page, how they are reading it, whether they are scrolling, whether they are comfortable providing some kinds of information,” and so on, said Jain.
“Based on those kinds of inputs, we are actually collecting all that data and using our AI practices to create dynamic workflows in the future, based on knowing the attributes of the user.”
Jain stressed that these systems can bring about internal efficiencies during these challenging times for the industry.
“For lenders, it is important that they need to prioritize their investments in a way where they can get the maximum value out of their money,” Jain said.
It is also a matter of “empowering your workforce. It is not just about enabling features or enabling technology just for your customers, but also making sure that you empower your internal workforce or your partners, like brokers or loan officers or correspondents, to give them all those tools so that you build long-term loyalty and relationships with these important partners in the entire business.”
Tavant’s new bells and whistles
Tavant prizes “attention to communication,” according to Shivam, which is why “we have a chat feature which allows loan officers, borrowers, realtors, processors, underwriters, to come together and have a single chat so that they can keep track of things. You can have a Zoom-style video call as needed. You can also schedule an appointment with your loan officer directly by accessing their Outlook availability. We are enhancing these things to have a better communication mechanism through this consumer experience product.”
Always keeping their ear to the ground, they are “looking in the direction” of seeing how ChatGPT can be integrated into the platform.
Another aspect of their platform is the use of auto-fill settings that can help a client fill out a form faster.
“Why do we always need human beings to answer certain questions?” asked Shivam. “We have features like refill and other things, which aim to reduce the time it takes for consumers to fill out an application.”
Name, social insurance number, income information, etc., can all be inputted once and then re-filled automatically as needed. Shivam predicted that as much as 60% of a form can be pre-filled using this technology. However, he cautioned that “there are some regulatory challenges, we understand,” which means some information cannot be auto-filled.